Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/970/26403
From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2017
Health campaign discusses strategy to save NHS
Marching to save the NHS, 4.3.17, photo Mary Finch (Click to enlarge)
Over 400 health campaigners and trade unionists attended Health Campaigns Together's (HCT) conference on 4 November - more than double its last conference.
HCT called the 250,000-strong demonstration against NHS cuts on 4 March, which helped derail Theresa May at the June election.
The conference heard from campaigns that have won victories, like North Devon's campaign to save Barnstaple District General Hospital. Every victory helps inspire campaigners elsewhere, even if battles keep having to be fought again.
Socialist film director Ken Loach focused on dentistry. Stories of DIY tooth extraction, abscess lancing and even tooth filling show the horrors following privatisation and charges.
Ken welcomed Jeremy Corbyn's changes to Labour but was disappointed with the election manifesto. It said Labour would "reverse privatisation" and make the NHS the "preferred provider" instead of clearly calling for an end to all privatisation.
Workshops brought together campaigners fighting for mental health, for safe staffing levels, busting the pay cap and defending immigrants among other issues.
Rounding the conference off, Dr Gurjinder Sandhu, an A&E consultant, was cheered for attacking the Tories' 'McKinsey model,' reorganising the NHS with hospital closures, mergers and so-called community care. "This emperor is stark bollock naked," he said. "There is no evidence for it and a huge amount of evidence against."
The loudest cheers of the day went to Jacqui Berry, a nurse and Socialist Party member, who followed. "I'm a socialist because I'm a nurse and a nurse because I'm a socialist," she said. "We're not powerless." The junior doctors' strikes and 4 March demonstration showed the possibilities for national action to save the NHS. Pay strikes need to be built for.
"What we have to do is bring down the government - and not replace it with MPs who just wear different colour ties but those who will carry out a completely different programme."
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 8 November 2017:
What we think
'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us
Socialist Party news and analysis
Westminster sexual harassment scandal
Walk out against tuition fees!
Bosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!
We can win the vote at 16!
Child poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now
PFI privateers dodge tax
What we saw
Workplace news and analysis
Pay cap decisively rejected by PCS union members
BA mixed-fleet workers show strikes get results
Unite union sector conferences: coordinate action over pay
Picturehouse strike: "evil corporations are evil"
Arriva bus strike still solid
International socialist news and analysis
US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters
Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'
Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class
Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution
Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Health campaign discusses strategy to save NHS
Chatsworth neuro-rehab ward still open - unions join the campaign
Housing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots
Thousands march in London for Palestine
Opposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields
Orgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march
Sheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison
Brum meeting celebrates centenary of 1917
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
Obituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017
Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict
Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 8 November 2017 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook